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Our First Christmas || The Blunkalow


There are a few things I dreamt of as a girl. 
You know, like really, really, really

My top five included:

  1. Having a boyfriend
  2. The proposal
  3. Being kissed
  4. Getting married
  5. DECORATING the tree because, hullo, OUR first Christmas!!!!

So yeah, I about died this year with excitement.

Because this wasn’t with some random, nameless guy in a dream (whom you never seem to be able to see his FACE – just shoulders down / back-of-head-type of dreams – which were always the worst). This is real life.

side note fact:
I always liked the name Stephen.
And brunettes with deeeeep eyes.
What. I knowwww. Pfff!

Here’s to our First Christmas adventures in our little “Blunkalow.”
(decor sources & recipe deets at the end)

With hot chocolate steaming & Bing crooning, we decked the tree. And then watched a Christmas movie.

P.S. I plan to use an extra piece off the tree trunk to make a “our first Christmas” ornament. 

And because no Saturday is started well without brunch,
I clanged dishes around until something delicious happened:
bacon wrapped egg cups
with a side cinnamon croissants topped with creamy, pumpkin butter.

It’s taken some time, but our little 536 sq ft apartment is festive & cozy!

There are some quirks.
Read: Our tree star being 2x bigger than it needs to be & the tree being in our bedroom.

But we’ve decided that these things are endearing…

Welcome to our Blunkalow!

What do you think??

How I did it: 
I knew that our space would be super limited – both inside the apartment and then afterward in our storage areas – and needed to keep costs to a minimum. In light of this, I prioritized use of textures and a consistent color palette with the decor I already had.

  • Christmas Tree: Cut-Your-Own at Eckerts Tree Farm
  • Silk ribbon & birch logs: Left over from our wedding
  • Tree Ornaments: Hobby Lobby, all 70% off
  • Embroidered Ornament: Handmade by the talented Marigold + Mars
  • Paper Star(s), tree skirt, fur rugs & velvet pillow: IKEA. The “skirt” is just a blanket I found for $12!
  • Lights & Tree Stand: Walmart
  • Stockings: Target – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia
  • Minimalist Wooden Christmas Tree: Handmade by my Virginia-Dad.
  • Cinnamon scented pine cones & grape vine wreaths: Michaels, 70% off
  • Wrapping Paper: Michaels, 50% off
  • Gold plastic ornaments (shelf decor): The Dollar Tree
  • Fresh Garland, wreath, & pillar candles: Trader Joe’s
  • Glitter Star: Pier 1 Imports – back from when I worked there 4 years ago
  • Bacon egg cups: Recipe here.

Happy weekending!! Christmas is almost here!!
Do you have any fun Christmas Traditions?

–Tara M



  • So lovely. Your first Christmas as a married couple! All those growing up years of decorating, sewing and crafting, not to mention photography, have served you well. ????????????


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I’m Tara


As a young girl, I kept a journal and then when Stephen and I got married, we wrote our vows into a journal we shared as a couple. On this lil’ corner of the internet, I want to invite you into our virtual journal’s stories and musings.  I hope you’ll find encouragement and inspiration along the way. You can expect a mixture of our recent photography work & adventures, lifestyle tips, current obsessions, and personal stories of us behind the scenes too! I’m so glad you’re here!

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